It was announced Thursday that the International Tennis Federation (ITF) voted in majority to reform the 118-year-old annual Davis Cup competition.
Davis Cup occurs four times per ATP World Tour season, with national squads of four players competing across several tiers of competition, with the highest tier, the World Group, consisting of 16 teams vying for the title at the end of the year. The Davis Cup final is typically played in the third week of November to cap off the season. Each “tie” takes place at home and away venues across the globe, which is decided by team head-to-heads and, in the result of a tie, a coin toss.
The new Davis Cup format offers just two weeks of play across the tennis calendar, with playoffs happening in February and a final played on neutral territory to be held in November. The final would feature 18 teams: 12 from the February qualifying ties, the four semi-finalists from the previous year and two wild card nations.
The reformed Davis Cup, expected to be in place as soon as next year, will be played in either Madrid, Spain or Lille, France.
The reform was approved by over 70% of delegates, which included tennis superpowers France and the Unites States. In addition, Tennis Canada announced its support for the reform.
“Tennis Canada is very pleased the ITF member nations voted to approve the Davis Cup reform program,” said Michael Downey, CEO of Tennis Canada. “A transformative Davis Cup will be game changing for the sport of tennis by elevating this prestigious team competition to a new level for all stakeholders including fans, players, broadcasters, sponsors and ITF member nations.”
Team Canada is set to play the Netherlands in Davis Cup World Group playoff this fall at the Coca-Cola Coliseum in downtown Toronto, September 14-16th.